be considered for severely depressed pregnant women, new guidelines
by Mike Jones
therapy should be considered for pregnant women with severe depression,
new government guidelines state.
This is despite the use of electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) being
“not well researched”, state the clinical guidelines
for health professionals issued by the National Institute for Health
and Clinical Excellence.
The guidelines are for professionals in England and Wales working
with mothers with a range of mental health problems both during
pregnancy and the first year after giving birth.
The guidelines state that if psychiatrists are to consider prescribing
ECT to severely mentally ill pregnant women, its health risks to
the expectant mother and fetus should be balanced against the risks
of using alternative treatments, such as antipsychotics or antidepressants.
course of ECT should be considered for pregnant women with severe
depression, severe mixed affective states or mania in the context
of bipolar disorder, or catatonia, whose physical health or that
of the fetus is at serious risk,” the guidelines read.
National Institute for Health
and Clinical Excellence guidelines on antenatal and postnatal mental
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